Everyone deals with conflict differently. Some people embrace situations of conflict while others will do anything to avoid it. There’s no one right or wrong way to deal with conflict in the workplace but here are six tips for handling conflict:
1 Appreciate We’re All Different
Not everyone thinks the same way you do. What might seem like a trivial matter to you, may mean far more to a colleague. Deal with all colleagues and conflict with respect. Making light of an issue won’t help the situation. Try to see if from the other person’s point of view. If you’re going to apologise, do so sincerely. Remember others will judge you on your attitude and actions towards a conflict. You don’t want to have a reputation of being uncaring or colleague who doesn’t respect another person’s opinion.
2 Prevention is Better Than the Cure
If you think a decision or position is going to cause conflict, address it before the change occurs. No one likes nasty surprises so be upfront with colleagues. Show resilience and leadership to work through the situation with a positive mindset. By being upfront and proactive shows you care and can avoid future conflict from occurring.
3 Make Communication a Priority 
Whether you’ve experienced it in your personal life or at work, a breakdown in communication often leads to conflict. In the workplace, good communication is key. Make sure everyone knows what’s expected of them. Discuss potential issues of concern.
4 Don’t Think of All Conflict Negatively
Dealing with conflict isn’t usually pleasant but it can provide positive opportunities. If you’re discussing an issue, you may gain valuable insight into your colleagues, finding out more about them. Sometimes a negative event leads to a positive outcome, so it doesn’t hurt to look for the silver lining to what may be a negative scenario.
5 Make Sure Everyone Know What’s Expected
Not everyone in the workplace has the same opinion on what is acceptable behaviour. Workplaces are a melting pot of employees with different ages, backgrounds, cultures, ambitions and personality types. These factors can all impact staff behaviour. For a person who is often involved in conflict with family and friends, they may not even realise when they cause conflict at work.

6 Deal with Conflict Quickly
Conflict is often described as an iceberg – you only see the tip, not the 90% of the problem that lies below the waterline. Taking a ‘wait and see’ approach is risky. The longer conflict continues, the more damage it does to the organisation and the people within. Dealing with it quickly can help you prevent any issues from escalating further.